The 5.1 Feral DPS Guide

Druid
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I've recently switched to Feral from Boomkin (main is Resto), and I'm having a problem. What do you do with all the downtime while waiting for your Energy to replenish?

Waiting to make my next attack is driving me nuts. Initial rotation against trash: Wild Charge; Thrash; Shred; wait and wait and wait; Shred; wait; etc, etc, etc.

Not very engaging or fun, so what am I missing?
09/10/2012 11:48 AMPosted by Tyllea
Not very engaging or fun, so what am I missing?


It's the most engaging fun rotation of any Class/Spec out there. It requires you to use your brain and know whats going to happen 5-10 seconds from now.

09/10/2012 11:48 AMPosted by Tyllea
Waiting to make my next attack is driving me nuts. Initial rotation against trash: Wild Charge; Thrash; Shred; wait and wait and wait; Shred; wait; etc, etc, etc.


On a side note, Trash is boring, for EVERY class, Half my raid tries to go AFK when we start trash,
I've recently switched to Feral from Boomkin (main is Resto), and I'm having a problem. What do you do with all the downtime while waiting for your Energy to replenish?

Waiting to make my next attack is driving me nuts. Initial rotation against trash: Wild Charge; Thrash; Shred; wait and wait and wait; Shred; wait; etc, etc, etc.

Not very engaging or fun, so what am I missing?

Don't spend energy as you get it. Instead, plan your moves ahead. Pool your energy until the best time to spend it. When you do this, you're no longer "waiting" -- you're "biding your time".
@Stenhaldi, "biding your time" is "waiting"... it's just the nicer way of saying it.

@Tyllea, an observation, depending on the amount of trash, Thrash + Swipe is still one of the most powerful AoE combos to date. But doing so does leave you waiting for energy, unless you've used a cooldown or two. The thing about Ferals are, our dps is managed a lot by our cooldowns, it allows us to ramp up our dps very quickly at the beginning of the fights or burn phases when they are used. But remember, Savage Roar needs to be up for us to optimize our dps output.

@Alarron, Any plans to include a Macro Section to the guide? If so I have a couple I'd like to submit for the guide! =D
09/10/2012 05:57 PMPosted by Ryuonato
@Stenhaldi, "biding your time" is "waiting"... it's just the nicer way of saying it.


That was said half-jokingly but as someone who has played numerous different class specializations, I think the distinction is actually significant. When I'm playing, say, retribution and come across a free global cooldown, that feels kind of awkward. The spec trains me that if I'm not casting something, I'm wasting time. Ordinarily every GCD is filled and any gaps are lost opportunities for damage or utility. This means that when I'm forced to wait out a free GCD, it feels like lost time.

With feral, there is no similar urgency to fill every global cooldown. Time is not a primary resource -- energy is. Waiting costs nothing.
Displacer Beast is equiv to rogue's vanish. Useful for PVP, bad pulls and rezzing, pulling a jenkins and then disappearing (+getting kicked from your group), and PVP. Possibilities are limited =D
EDIT: Nvm.
09/10/2012 05:57 PMPosted by Ryuonato
@Alarron, Any plans to include a Macro Section to the guide? If so I have a couple I'd like to submit for the guide! =D


Problem with macros is that the two biggest macros we need (NS+HT, shapeshift+WC) are not working as you would expect. :) Still worth something though, I'll add in a section at some point.
So why is Energy regen so freaking terrible? Been noticing I can get three or so abilities off then I'm energy starved for the rest of the fight seemingly. Admittedly this is at lower levels but still never had this problem with the other two classes that use energy as a resource.
So, from what I'm seeing in the first post, as of 5.0, keeping the thrash dot up is viable single target aslong as you use it with an omen proc, and aslong as it doesn't !@#$ up your bleeds/sr uptimes?
09/15/2012 12:46 PMPosted by Baines
So why is Energy regen so freaking terrible? Been noticing I can get three or so abilities off then I'm energy starved for the rest of the fight seemingly. Admittedly this is at lower levels but still never had this problem with the other two classes that use energy as a resource.

It's not so much that regen is terrible, it's that Tiger's Fury is so good. You're balanced around using that as part of your opener, so if you're moving between single targets quickly and it's down, you feel it.

09/15/2012 11:05 PMPosted by Bunnychaser
So, from what I'm seeing in the first post, as of 5.0, keeping the thrash dot up is viable single target aslong as you use it with an omen proc, and aslong as it doesn't !@#$ up your bleeds/sr uptimes?

Yes.
09/11/2012 01:05 PMPosted by Myrlin
Displacer Beast is equiv to rogue's vanish. Useful for PVP, bad pulls and rezzing, pulling a jenkins and then disappearing (+getting kicked from your group), and PVP. Possibilities are limited =D


Unless something has changed recently it is not equivalent to vanish because there is no aggro drop in PvE. For PvP you have no dot protection like a rogue does with cloak so it's basically used either as an interrupt (so the person casting finishes their cast when you disappear), as an attempt-to-get-out-of-jail card as an additional tool to get out of a sticky situation, or a way to pounce again (but since pounce is such a short duration and you could be on stun DR that may not be great anyway).

Granted this is all from a feral perspective (which should be implied being this is a feral thread, but just putting it in for clarity).

Also, I feel bad for Alarron. Good luck getting all those different rotations down to a simple/easy-to-read format since we'll have different playstyles depending on talents :-\
Alarron, have you or any one else done the over/under on using bear form thrash and swipe while waiting for energy regen from Cat form?

Or even using Bear form thrash in place of cat form thrash due to cat forms 50 energy cost and bear forms free cost and higher bleed component? Seems like it would scale better with our mastery.

I'm going to assume it's not a huge increase since I believe no one at Blizzard would miss something that obvious, but on a protacted AoE fight, saving that much energy for extra swipes seems like a boon to me, especially early on when we'll spend a lot of time waiting for energy to regen.

Your thoughts?
So why is Energy regen so freaking terrible? Been noticing I can get three or so abilities off then I'm energy starved for the rest of the fight seemingly. Admittedly this is at lower levels but still never had this problem with the other two classes that use energy as a resource.

It's not so much that regen is terrible, it's that Tiger's Fury is so good. You're balanced around using that as part of your opener, so if you're moving between single targets quickly and it's down, you feel it.


Also keep in mind that with no more free guaranteed Ravage crits (and subsequent 2 combo points ; ) from charge, our opener requires a lot more energy now to get to a five combo point Rip. Like Alarron says, proper management of Tiger's Fury is the only way to keep your combo points flowing, at least early in the Xpac. It's entirely possible that delaying TF for a huge important swap (a la Madness of DW) will be more beneficial to you.
So is Mew dead and gone?

Simcraft used to be really inaccurate for feral, so I'm not excited about using it.
One setting that is probably worth mentioning is autounshift

/console autounshift 1
/console autounshift 0

auto unshift is what takes you out of form if you cast a heal, or some other ability that cannot be executed in the current form you are in. If you set this to 0, the game will never shift you out to caster form when doing these abilities, and you must shift manually. This should make it impossible for any healing touch cast to shift you out accidentally (thought you had predatory instincts but didn't, mashed the NT+HT macro too fast, etc).

From testing, it appears doing certain abilities such as Might of Ursoc or Dash will still shift you _into_ form, or cross-shift you from cat to bear or bear to cat.
Great guide! When you get time you might want to update the section on Symbiosis since tanks no longer get survival cooldowns from the druid.

I'm leveling my druid now which I don't play too often other than farming and this guide has sparked me to make a few changes. Thanks again!
I don't know the exact values, but I thought it might be worth mentioning. Using renewal + might of ursoc (which activates bear form) gives a considerable heal which I think increases the value of renewal, since it is 30% of maximum health with bearform + % of Might of Ursoc.
I made a simple mash macro that activates might of ursoc/uses renewal and cast sequence back to cat form. Even though I don't think the CDs match up, this heals a considerable amount of health.
It also uses two long (comparatively) cd's for a similar effect to simply waiting the ~65-70s required for 2x NS HT. Of course, if you need the health NOW, it would be better...but I feel it'd be better to utilize CDs better than that.
Feral feels weaker, to me, than it did in Cata. Significantly. I was destroying mobs right up to the level cap in Cata. Not so in Pandaland. Did I gear wrong or something? I feel like the mobs weren't balanced around the slot we lost. There's more to it, but for the most part I'm not enjoying feral right now. Will probably be using my shadow priest as my main, since the changes to shadow are glorious.

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